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Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance

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  • Huebener, Mathias
  • Kuger, Susanne
  • Marcus, Jan

Abstract

Do increased instruction hours improve the performance of all students? Using PISA scores of students in ninth grade, we analyse the effect of a German education reform that increased weekly instruction hours by two hours (6.5 percent) over almost five years. In the additional time, students are taught new learning content. On average, the reform improves student performance. However, treatment effects are small and differ across the student performance distribution. Low-performing students benefit less than high-performing students. We argue that the content of additional instruction time is an important determinant explaining this pattern. The findings demonstrate that increases in instruction hours can widen the gap between low- and high-performing students.

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  • Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 15-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2017.04.007
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Quis, Johanna Sophie & Reif, Simon, 2017. "Health effects of instruction intensity: Evidence from a natural experiment in German high-schools," BERG Working Paper Series 123, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    3. Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1-14.
    4. Andrés Barrios F. & Giulia Bovini, 2017. "It's Time to Learn: Understanding the Differences in Returns to Instruction Time," CEP Discussion Papers dp1521, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Hofmann, Sarah & Mühlenweg, Andrea, 2017. "Learning Intensity Effects in Students' Mental and Physical Health - Evidence from a Large Scale Natural Experiment in Germany," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-622, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    6. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 15-34.
    7. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:35-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Schwarz, Nina, 2017. "The long-term effects of long terms: Compulsory schooling reforms in Sweden," Ruhr Economic Papers 733, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    9. Dahmann, Sarah C., 2017. "How does education improve cognitive skills? Instructional time versus timing of instruction," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 35-47.
    10. Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Schwarz, Nina, 2016. "The Sooner the Better? Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10430, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Barrios Fernandez, Andrés & Bovini, Giulia, 2017. "It’s time to learn: understanding the differences in returns to instruction time," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86618, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Jan Marcus & Vaishali Zambre, 2016. "The Effect of Increasing Education Efficiency on University Enrollment: Evidence from Administrative Data and an Unusual Schooling Reform in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1613, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Instruction time; Student achievement; PISA; G8-high school reform; Curriculum; Quantile difference-in-differences; Recentered influence function;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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